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‘Whistleblowing’ doctor was unfairly dismissed

Dr Raj Mattu was employed as a cardiologist at the Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry in 2001, when he made ‘protected disclosures’ about dangerous overcrowding in patient bays which could have led to avoidable deaths. He was first suspended and then eventually dismissed some years later.

After a lengthy trial, Birmingham Employment Tribunal has now cleared him of any wrongdoing and ruled that he was unfairly dismissed and had furthermore been targeted by hospital managers specifically because he blew the whistle on poor care.

The doctor was ‘vilified’ and bullied after publicly exposing his fears for patient safety at the hospital, and, according to his lawyers was then subjected to a year-long “witch hunt” by the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. He was suspended on full pay until 2007, and dismissed in 2010.

The tribunal heard that NHS bosses had hired private investigators in an attempt to discredit Dr Mattu and ruled that he had been unfairly dismissed on the grounds of disability after suffering from an auto-immune condition which meant he was too ill to attend a disciplinary hearing. This means there is no limit on the level of compensation that can be awarded by the judges to Dr Mattu, who has spent virtually every penny on legal action to clear his name.

If you’d like more information on protected disclosures or unfair dismissal, please contact Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar, Carrie-Ann Randall or Alex Reid at Lawson-West on 0116 212 1000.

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